Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Tax compliance, self-assessment and tax administration

James, Simon and Alley, Clinton (2002): Tax compliance, self-assessment and tax administration. Published in: Journal of Finance and Management in Public Services , Vol. 2, No. 2 (2002): pp. 27-42.

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Tax compliance is likely to become even more important with developments such as self-assessment and electronic commerce. This paper re-examines the meaning of tax compliance. It finds that existing definitions are usually too narrow to encompass the topic in full and a wider definition is offered. The paper describes the purpose of tax compliance and the factors that affect the willingness of taxpayers to comply with a tax system. It discusses two different approaches to tax compliance and suggests that caution should be shown in the use of penalties and the emphasis should be on assisting citizens to meet their tax obligations. Fortunately recent developments have seen closer cooperation between tax agencies and academic researchers. A pressing task is the development of an approach that incorporates both the economic and behavioural approaches to tax compliance and a successful strategy for tax compliance must give due weight to all relevant factors and their interaction.

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